The Tampa Bay Bucs are betting that Brent Grimes can play young.
They are also betting that Josh Robinson can stay healthy.
Such are the latest gambles on pass coverage for the Bucs, who signed Grimes from Miami and Robinson from Minnesota. The Bucs would like to improve their pass defense, which was 16th in the league a year ago. Tampa Bay also added pass rusher Robert Ayers and safety Chris Conti to help the unit.
Grimes, who has made four Pro Bowls, will be 33 before the season begins, however.
“Personally, I (don’t) get too tied up on guy’s ages, especially when I have personal knowledge of them,’’ Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter said. “This guy sitting next to me, the age says one thing, but like Jason said, he would have a hard time going to Applebee’s and getting a cold one right now. “I think age is just a number. There are successful guys playing at different ages. Turn on the film. It doesn’t lie. The guy can either play or he can’t. And this guy has been to three (straight) Pro Bowls. “We’ve said it time and time again. The players we bring in here, they have to be the right kind of player and right type of guy, and if they are then I don’t think the age is a big deal.”
Robinson, 25, has started only five of the past 21 games because of injury.
If the Bucs are going to be better, the pass defense has to be good. The Bucs compete against Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan in their division.